I Can’t Stand Bad Drivers, So Why Can’t I Stop Watching Them on YouTube?
How I got so obsessed with watching fender bender dash cam footage
I can’t remember how exactly I got addicted to watching car accident compilations on YouTube, but I blame it on the algorithm. One day, it implored me to watch “Idiots in Cars #22” and ever since, I haven’t been able to stop. (There’s really something to the adage about not being able to look away from a car crash!) Each video cuts quickly between footage of various idiots driving their cars in unbelievably idiotic ways, and nearly or actually causing accidents due to their idiocy.
The “Idiots in Cars” videos and its ilk have several recurring themes:
- Two cars pulling out their parking spots at exactly the same time so their back bumpers kiss each other (kinda funny)
- A semi on the freeway changing lanes while failing to notice the car beside it (are you kidding me?)
- Trying to take a right turn from the middle lane (so freakin’ dumb)
- Making a left turn on a solid green without looking to see if there’s oncoming traffic (stupid, stupid, stupid)
- Turning onto a road without obeying the stop sign, and then t-boning another car (what a goddamn moron)
- Speeding to the point where you lose control of your car (you fool!)
- Overtaking the car in front of you on a two-lane road without observing that there are cars coming the other way (indubitably, absolutely, positively idiotic)
These compilations are strangely instructional for me, a 28-year-old native Manhattanite who only got her driver’s license 11 months ago. A reason that it took me so long to muster the courage to get my license is because operating a vehicle, which I used to refer to as a “death machine,” felt like a crushing responsibility, and I wasn’t sure that I was up to the task. I was so afraid of hurting someone else. Nowadays, driving is a totally mundane thing I do everyday. “Idiots in Cars” is a good reminder that even if I’m a responsible, good driver, the whole practice can still be quite hazardous.